The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will continue to consider Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on human rights violations in Crimea. At the same time, the judges found some of Kiev’s accusations inadmissible, the Russian Ministry of Justice noted.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday, January 14, recognized the lawsuit filed by Ukraine against Russia (application No. 20958/14) as partially admissible, the court said in a statement. Ukraine in it claims that Russia has systematically violated the European Convention on Human Rights in Crimea. After this decision, the process will continue, a further timetable for the trial will be formed by the ECHR, the Russian Ministry of Justice said.
At the same time, the Grand Chamber did not find several charges against Russia filed by Ukraine sufficient for consideration, in particular, in the murders of citizens, detention and intimidation of journalists, illegal seizure of property of Ukrainian military personnel, discrimination against ethnic Ukrainians, politically motivated criminal prosecution of pro-Ukrainian persons, refusals in the registration of religious and other organizations, the Russian Ministry of Justice said.
The case is based on two complaints filed by Ukraine against Russia in 2014 and 2015. In June 2018, the complaints were combined into one case under the title “Ukraine v Russia (regarding Crimea)”. On May 7, 2018, the case was referred to the Grand Chamber, which held a hearing on September 11, 2019. In the complaints, the Ukrainian side points to a systematic violation of human rights in Crimea from February 27, 2014 to August 2015. Crimea was admitted to Russia on March 18, 2014, but the Ukrainian side insists that Russia had been exercising “effective control” over the situation in the autonomous republic since the end of February 2014, and at the same time numerous violations of the European convention were committed.
The Russian representatives indicated that the claim could not be accepted for consideration. Speaking in September last year in the Grand Chamber, Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Mikhail Halperin said that Ukraine’s complaint is political, and the emphasis is on how Crimea was annexed to Russia. “Russian soldiers only prevented violence and did not exercise effective control or jurisdiction in Crimea,” he said.
However, the members of the Grand Chamber decided that Russia exercised control over Crimea, given, in particular, the size and strength of the increased Russian military presence from January to March 2014, “without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities or any evidence that there was a threat to the deployment of Russian troops in accordance with relevant bilateral agreements. “